Hyaluronic Acid for Prostate Cancer

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a thick fluid in most human body parts. It is a complex viscous substance that lubricates joints and is present in connective tissue, which ordinarily plays a critical role in the healing of wounds. HA is an endogenous polysaccharide that is believed in certain research study circles to serve as a carrier molecule for cytotoxic agents (CT). Some preclinical studies have demonstrated that the addition of HA to CT results in increased cellular uptake, increased response rates, reduced toxicity and prolonged survival.

As a consequence, more studies have been sanctioned to look into the health benefits of this natural body chemical, with references to various conditions that assail human beings and with respect to hyaluronidase, a body enzyme that breaks down hyaluronic acid and uses that process to increase the permeability of connective tissues. Specifically in prostate cancer, a type of hyaluronidase tagged as HYAL1 was looked at as a tumor promoter and suppressor by a group of four physicians from the Department of Urology, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, in 2005.

One of the facts that they determined is that HA promotes the metastasis of prostate cancer, but by degrading hyaluronic acid, hyalurondase impedes this process. Hyaluronidase, already known to be an independent prognostic indicator of prostate cancer progression and a biomarker for bladder cancer, therefore comes out as being remedial for prostate cancer.

Based on their findings, though, it remains unclear if hyaluronidase functions more as a tumor promoter or as a prostate tumor suppressor. Another finding from their tests asserted that prostate cancer cells express little or no hyalurinodase in an attempt to generate transfectants. Transfectants are agents that promote the infection of a cell with viral DNA leading to the production of a virus within the cell. This would suggest that hyaluronidase does not have a lot in common with the cancer cells, but without evidence from further studies, this would be impossible to determine.

Some other findings were that both blocking hyaluronidase expression and high hyaluronidase production resulted in significant decrease in prostate cancer cell proliferation; high hyaluronidase producers had increased apoptotic activity and mitochondrial depolarization; and blocking hyaluronidase expression inhibited tumor growth.

Based on these findings, Bill Sardi, head of the research stated that drug developers now offer little more than hyaluronic acid for prostate cancer because it targets cancer cells, and in conjunction with other anti-cancer agents, sees and destroys the tumor cells.

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